Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Review: Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop

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Title: Vision in Silver (The Others #3)
Author:
Anne Bishop
Publisher: Roc (Penguin)
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Acquired Via:
Publisher

The Others freed the cassandra sangue to protect the blood prophets from exploitation, not realizing their actions would have dire consequences. Now the fragile seers are in greater danger than ever before—both from their own weaknesses and from those who seek to control their divinations for wicked purposes. In desperate need of answers, Simon Wolfgard, a shape-shifter leader among the Others, has no choice but to enlist blood prophet Meg Corbyn’s help, regardless of the risks she faces by aiding him.

Meg is still deep in the throes of her addiction to the euphoria she feels when she cuts and speaks prophecy. She knows each slice of her blade tempts death. But Others and humans alike need answers, and her visions may be Simon’s only hope of ending the conflict.

For the shadows of war are deepening across the Atlantik, and the prejudice of a fanatic faction is threatening to bring the battle right to Meg and Simon’s doorstep


My Review

Anne Bishop's The Others series is one of my favorite dark fantasy series, so I jumped on the chance to read and review Vision in Silver. It was everything I wanted, and I was so sad for it to end. I might reread the first two books in the series soon, because I need more Meg, Simon and the rest of the Courtyard.

At the end of Murder of Crows tensions between humans and the Others were starting to come to a boil. With Vision in Silver, the tension skyrockets as the Humans First and Last Movement tries to wrestle land/resources away from the Others.

We get to see a lot more of the world in the third book, and it just showcased Bishop's awesome worldbuilding talents. The Others visit other settlements, and humans and Others from other cities and towns come to visit Lakeside and the Courtyard. I love how each book just shows how much this is like a ripple in a pool and the further along we get in the stories, we get soooooo much more information and the world and characters continue to expand. I can't wait to find out more information about the even more dangerous Others, that shouldn't be seen or heard because they're so dangerous. Although, it would be really bad for the humans if those Others are seen.

There were also several plot threads running through Vision in Silver, which Bishop connected mostly seamlessly at the end. I loved that we got to see more of the free cassandra sangue, and I hope that we get a lot more scenes with them in future books. I also loved all of the police procedural/jewel heist plots.

Surprisingly, my least favorite parts were involving Meg. She just seemed kind of blah and whiney. I still love Simon, and I like them together (we really need a kiss!), but Meg just wasn't as great in this book. But, she also was going through a lot, and that may have been intentional. I think the things I love most about Simon and Meg are that neither of them really understand humanity, themselves or each other so it makes for some hilarious moments. Meg doesn't understand her attraction to Simon and doesn't properly relay her emotions. Simon doesn't understand romance, and doesn't get the human way of relationships. It's a sweet and endearing romance, and a reallyyyyyyy slow-burning one.

I love how much the Others show and act like their Other side. I can definitely see Simon's wolf personality and the Crow's love of shinies is awesome. I know Simon is supposed to be a real monster to fear, but I can't help but think he's a mischievous puppy. And, although these are dark fantasies with monsters that eat humans if the humans misbehave (or even if they don't), Bishop throws enough humor in that it's not (too) depressing or scary.

I also giggle about the sayings the Others are confused about, or anything that humans do that the Others think is stupid, crazy or silly. But, it's also a little profound, because the Others can see how terrible humans treat each other, and how illogical humans can be in their hatred, fear and bias.

Basically Bishop took everything I loved about the series and expounded upon it. I wouldn’t change a thing (except to make it neverending, but that's not possible). I am eagerly anticipating the next installment. If you like dark fantasy with great worldbuilding, you should definitely start this series!

- 5/5 Stars -

Buy Links
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository| Fishpond



To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I each received a copy of the novel from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Cover Reveal: Blood Stitches by Erin Fanning

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Title: Blood Stitches
Author:
Erin Fanning
Publisher: Lyrical Press (Kensington)
Cover Reveal Organizer: Pump Up Your Book!
Release Date: May 12, 2015

It’s called El Toque de la Luna–The Touch of the Moon. At least that’s how nineteen-year-old Gabby’s older sister, Esperanza, refers to the magical powers she inherited from their Mayan ancestors. Esperanza says women with El Toque weave magic into their knitting, creating tapestries capable of saving–or devastating–the world. Gabby thinks Esperanza is more like touched in the head–until a man dressed like a candy corn arrives at their Seattle home on Halloween. But “Mr. C” is far from sweet..

Soon, Gabby and her almost-more-than-friend, Frank, find themselves spirited away to a demon ball, complete with shape shifters–and on a mission to destroy Esperanza’s tapestries before they cause an apocalyptic disaster… And before it’s too late to confess their true feelings for each other.


Buy Links
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo



About the Author


Erin Fanning spends her summers on a remote Michigan lake, where her imagination explores the water and dense forest for undiscovered creatures. In the winter, she migrates to central Idaho, exchanging mountain bikes and kayaks for skis and snowshoes.

She’s the author of the “Curse of Blackhawk Bay” (Sam’s Dot Publishing, 2008), “Mountain Biking Michigan” (Globe Pequot Press, 2002), and numerous short stories, essays, and articles.


Links
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads




Waiting on Wednesday (95): Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.



Title: Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes #2)
Author:
Sara Raasch
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
Release Date: October 13, 2015

It’s been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring’s king, Angra, disappeared—thanks largely to the help of Cordell.

Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira fears the danger the chasm poses—the last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to use the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe—even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves?

Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Januari—leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell’s growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken kingdom and protect them from new threats?

As the web of power and deception weaves tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom—and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter, but for the world.



Kayla and I both loved Snow Like Ashes so I did a little happy dance when I saw the cover revel for Ice Like Fire. I cannot wait to read more about Meira and Primoria. Also, aren't these some of the most awesome covers?? You can read my review of Snow Like Ashes here and Kayla's review here.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Blog Tour (Review): Haunted by Lynn Carthage #Giveaway

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Title: Haunted (The Arnaud Legacy #1)
Author:
Lynn Carthage
Publisher: Kensington
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Acquired Via:
Publisher

"Remarkable. . .a twist you'll never see coming." - Michelle Gagnon, author of Don't Look Now

Moving to my stepfather's English country mansion sounded so promising. But the Arnaud Manor is neglected and unwelcoming, and I get the feeling it isn't exactly uninhabited. Something wants to hurt us--especially my little sister, Tabby.

Okay, so I might be a little sensitive lately. My parents act oblivious to me, my old life is far away in San Francisco, and the gorgeous guy I just met tells me terrible stories about the infamous Madame Arnaud who lived here long ago, and about missing children and vengeful spirits. The kind of stories that are impossible to believe--until you're living in one of them, fighting to protect everyone you love...


My Review

Haunted by Lynn Carthage is just the kind of young adult novel that I like to read. My only experience with YA as a young person was reading R.L. Stine, Lois Duncan, and Christopher Pike, and Haunted is definitely in their league. It was a very nostalgic read.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Blog Tour (Review & Giveaway): Those Rosy Hours at Mazandaran by Marion Grace Woolley

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Title: Those Rosy Hours at Mazandaran
Author:
Marion Grace Woolley
Publisher: Ghostwood Books
Release Date: February 14, 2015
Acquired Via: TLC Book Tours

It begins with a rumour, an exciting whisper. Anything to break the tedium of the harem for the Shah’s eldest daughter. People speak of a man with a face so vile it would make a hangman faint, but a voice as sweet as an angel’s kiss. A master of illusion and stealth. A masked performer, known only as Vachon. For once, the truth will outshine the tales.

On her eleventh birthday, Afsar’s uncle tries to molest her, and her father, the Shah, gifts her a circus. With the circus comes a man who will change everything. Inspired by Gaston LeRoux’s The Phantom of the Opera, Marion Grace Woolley takes us on forbidden adventures through a time that has been written out of history books.


Praise

“A sumptuous dark treat of a novel, will keep you shocked and enthralled until the very last page.” – Will Davis, author of The Trapeze Artist

“Rising from the cracks and hints in Gaston Leroux’s classic, Those Rosy Hours delivers a striking and glorious original historical fantasy that sings across time from the heart of a lost empire.” – David Southwell, author of The Phoenix Guide to Strange England: Hookland

“…evocative and gripping. I missed several tube stops thanks to my immersion in [Those Rosy Hours]…” – Kate Harrad, author of All Lies and Jest

“Disquieting and enchanting.” – Peter Dawes, USA Today best-selling author of Pandora

My Review

I haven't written a negative review in a really long time, and, unfortunately, this is going to to be one. Those Rosy Hours at Mazandaran was rife with gratuitous violenc and demented individuals, but lacking in characters that I cared anything about. The writing was not awful, but neither did it pull me into the story.

Book Blast: Letters to Kezia by Peni Jo Renner #LetterstoKeziaBookBlast #HistoricalFiction

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Title: Letters to Kezia (The Puritan Chronicles #2)
Author:
Peni Jo Renner
Publisher: iUniverse
Release Date: January 14, 2014

It is 1693 in Hereford, Connecticut, when Mary Case, the spinster daughter of a Puritan minister, finds herself hopelessly smitten by the roguish thief, Daniel Eames. Betrothed to a man she does not like or love, she is soon compelled to help Daniel escape from jail. Suddenly, she finds herself on the run, not only accused of being Daniel’s accomplice, but also of murder.

The fugitive pair soon finds solace-and a mutual attraction-among the escapee’s Algonquin friends until two men from Daniel’s dark past hunt them down. After Mary is captured and returned home to await trial, a tragedy takes the life of her younger sister, revealing a dark secret Mary’s father has kept for months. But just as Mary learns she is pregnant, she makes a horrifying discovery about Daniel that changes everything and prompts her to develop an unlikely bond with his mother, Rebecca, who soon saves Mary from a shocking fate. It is not until years later that her daughter, Kezia, finally learns the truth about her biological father and family.

Letters to Kezia shares a courageous woman’s journey through a Puritan life and beyond as she struggles with adversity and betrayal, and discovers that loyalty can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.


Praise for Letters to Kezia

“In the tradition of author Peni Jo Renner’s gripping debut novel, Puritan Witch: The Redemption of Rebecca Eames, Letters to Kezia recounts the tale of courageous, compassionate, and relatable Mary, whose connection to Rebecca and her family is unforeseen and profound. The reader is captivated at the very first page, as Letters to Kezia is a story of forbidden love, deep family secrets, intrigue, murder, and atonement. Another beautifully written triumph for this author, whose immense gift for story-telling transports the reader into each scene so deftly, one can almost smell the wood smoke and hear the crackling of the fire in the hearth.” – Kelly Z. Conrad, award-winning author of Shaman

Friday, February 20, 2015

Cover Reveal: Consent by Nancy Olin

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Title: Consent
Author:
Nancy Ohlin
Cover Reveal Organizer: Xpresso Book Tours
Release Date: November 10, 2015

Bea has a secret.

Actually, she has more than one. There’s her dreams for the future that she can’t tell anyone—not her father and not even her best friend, Plum.

And now there’s Dane Rossi. Dane is hot, he shares Bea’s love of piano, and he believes in her.

He’s also Bea’s teacher.

When their passion for music crosses into passion for each other, Bea finds herself falling completely for Dane. She’s never felt so wanted, so understood, so known to her core. But the risk of discovery carries unexpected surprises that could shake Bea entirely. Bea must piece together what is and isn’t true about Dane, herself, and the most intense relationship she’s ever experienced, in this absorbing novel from Nancy Ohlin.



About Nancy Ohlin

I am the author of Beauty, a YA retelling of the Snow White tale, and always, forever, a YA retelling of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. Always, Forever was originally published in hardcover as Thorn Abbey.

I've also contributed to several celebrity novels, including a New York Times-bestselling YA trilogy.

I'm currently hard at work on my next YA novel, which will be as mind-bending as Always, Forever (I hope!).

My favorite cures for writers' block are long walks, long showers, popcorn, chocolate, and really expensive coffee. I talk to myself a lot while I write (you know, to make sure the dialogue zings).



Cover Reveal: One Last Time by Denise Daisy #Giveaway

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Title: One Last Time
Author:
Denise Daisy
Publisher: Lyrical Press (Kensington)
Cover Reveal Organizer: Pump Up Your Book!
Release Date: August 4, 2015

When it comes to love, time is all they need...

Averie is terrified of anything remotely scary, but when she finds herself short of cash, she has no choice but to work on the catering staff at the creepy historic Faulkner mansion. The Faulkner Plantation was the site of a bloody massacre in the 1800s, and the event is an attempt to change its reputation. There’s just one catch: the host has more in store than dinner. Soon Avery, along with a handsome guest named Quillan, is transported—back in time...

It’s one month before the massacre and Averie and Quillan must find the courage to do more than survive. Together, they must uncover the truth about the Faulkner family and try and stop the murders. But as Averie and Quillan grow closer, the stakes are higher than they expected. Will they be able to put their feelings aside to change the past—and find life, and love, in the place Averie fears the most?


Buy Links
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo



About the Author